In the News from Panama

Panama Bank Goes ‘Bitcoin-Friendly’

A Panama bank this week officially announced it is “bitcoin-friendly” and opened its doors to cryptocurrency-based accounts.

Towerbank said it would welcome bitcoin investors, and proclaimed its doors open for crypto transactions. While Towerbank is not a big bank, and its leaders were speaking at a blockchain conference, the announcement was further evidence that Panama’s financial institutions are ready to lead the way into the crypto future.

Panama’s growth as a crypto-friendly destination will have a  strong positive impact on the real estate market. At PPR, we’re fielding more and more queries from international buyers and sellers interested in using bitcoin, ethereum, and other cryptocurrencies for transactions.

Towerbank officials said customer demand is driving the bank to expand its offerings to cryptocurrencies.

“We want to become part of the community and build a service platform together, to satisfy the opportunities arising from their current needs, pains, and priorities,” Gabriel Campa, vice president of product for Towerbank told Cointelegraph, an industry publication. “Within the next 90 days, as we implement the required infrastructure, we will be adding additional services to our crypto-friendly account.”

Earlier this year, Panama’s legislation approved legislation that would create a framework for making cryptocurrencies an acceptable part of the official finance system. Panama president Laurentino Cortizo recently signaled that he wouldn’t sign the bill, primarily citing regulatory concerns. But he also called the legislation  “innovative” and a “good law,” suggesting he is open to approving the concept if his concerns are met.

“I will not sign that law at this moment,” Cortizo said. “If the law has clauses related to money laundering activities — Anti-Money Laundering activities — that’s very important for us.”

But there is clearly momentum building for cryptocurrencies in Panama. Top officials continue to acknowledge its benefits, including for the real estate market.

Towerbank has suggested it will allow customers to link their crypto accounts, such as Binance, directly to their Towerbank bank accounts, although nothing is official yet. “Reportedly, crypto-related transactions are limited to up to $5,000 per month and the bank is not offering direct crypto to crypto services,” Cointelegraph reported. “To date, the move is a gesture to the crypto community that digital assets under a certain amount can be used at the bank without obstacles.”